Ipsos: When It Comes To Radio, Affluents Rock It Out.


Sales teams at classic rock stations have new ammo for proving their ability to deliver affluent consumers to advertisers. A new Ipsos study finds classic rock is their top radio format choice, used by 30% of affluents surveyed. Rock came in second with 27%, followed by news/talk (23%), country (22%) and classic hits (21%).


“Media Still Matters: Affluent Deep Connection with Media Brands,” also shows affluents are listening to audio throughout the day, with AM/FM radio drawing the most listeners during the daytime hours.


Looking at affluents’ appetite for audio shows AM/FM radio rules drive times – 37% of affluents surveyed tune into broadcast radio from Mon-Fri, 6-9am. That compares to 15% using streaming audio and 11% listening to satellite radio during that daypart. AM/FM is also on top of the audio heap in the 9am-noon, 2-5pm, and 5-7pm periods but by smaller margins. Ipsos uncovered a virtual dead heat between broadcast radio and streaming from noon-2pm while streaming takes a narrow lead from 10pm-midnight.


Looking at the pandemic’s impact on radio consumption, the Ipsos study shows affluents returning to radio throughout the day, after pandemic-impacted declines in 2020. In fact, many dayparts have surpassed pre-pandemic consumption levels, notes Katz Radio in a post on its Sound Answers blog. Among the dayparts where listening is stronger now than in 2020 are 9am-noon, noon-2pm, 2-5pm and 5-7pm.


“The morning commute really tailed off in 2020 when people weren't commuting as much anymore, because of COVID,” Jesse Peretz, Director of Ipsos’ U.S. Audience Measurement, said during a recent webinar. “But they were listening to things. The interesting thing we found was that 9-12 block, the people who would have gotten out of their car and gone into their office now just left the radio on. And they seem to enjoy whatever follows their morning commute show. So, they're sticking with that and it's still growing. And there's places where it dipped, and now it's bouncing back for the rest of the day.”


The Ipsos study found satellite radio listening peaks around afternoon drive, performing on par with streaming audio. But affluents have not been returning to their pre-pandemic satellite listening behaviors, leaving many dayparts below 2019 levels.


Podcasts are growing among affluents with 40% now regularly listening or subscribing to podcasts, with listening levels peaking around midday.


“Despite the economic fallout from the pandemic, Affluent Americans managed to substantially increase their net worth in the past year,” Ipsos says. “They already outspend non-Affluent two-to-one, and with this extra financial cushion are poised to be an even stronger purchasing bloc in the next year. Understanding their media preferences and relationships are the key to knowing how best to market to what is arguably the most important consumers in the U.S. today.”

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